Scripting News for 3/21/2008

Give Rev Wright a chance to convince you 

Melroy Hodge, from Queens, NY, a contact on Twitter, sent a pointer to a YouTube video of a longer excerpt of Jeremiah Wright’s post-911 sermon, one of the speeches that soundbites were shown repeatedly on cable news this week. I guess it’s not surprising that the cable news excerpts gave a very misleading impression. (Next time this happens we must do an immediate fact-check.)

This is a must-watch video. Stop what you’re doing, right now, and watch it.

I found myself captivated by Wright’s ideas and the way he expresses them.

I agree with everything he said.

I would have been willing to cut him some slack, because this was less than a week after the attack, and those were crazy days, who knew what was coming next. But he was right, we have done what they did to us, and we’re doing it again in Iraq.

The US was led by despotic people and we followed; we wanted to punish someone, anyone, and it didn’t matter if they had anything to do with what happened to us. And we did.

Lots of people don’t want to acknowledge this, esp the cable news networks who led the charge to war, but if you compare what Wright said to what they were saying, and why shouldn’t we, I think we’ll find that Wright was a rational and calming alternative to the lunacy that was dominating discourse in the US in the years following 911. And this video was taken mere days after the attacks.

The news networks don’t have standing to criticize Wright for his post-911 speech. Let’s dig up some of their oratory from that timeframe and see if we want them involved in our political process in the future.

As Wright says, the chickens. Have come. Home. To roost.

Richardson endorsement MP3 

New Mexico governor Bill RIchardson endorsed Barack Obama in a rally today in Portland, OR. Here’s an approx 15 minute MP3 of his speech.


Video of the Richardson speech.

Today’s Clinton conf call MP3 

I’ve only listened to the first few minutes but it begins with some really provocative statements about Obama’s campaign. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

“It is no secret that the Obama campaign is in political hot water… and is basically desperate to change the subject.”

I also here there was a pretty sizzling Obama conf call, don’t have the MP3 of that. Yet. 🙂

Richardson to Endorse Obama 

NY Times: “Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who sought to become the nation’s first Hispanic president this year, plans to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination on Friday at a campaign event in Oregon.”

Incredible discussion on race 

Yesterday’s piece about race drew some of the most loving, fun and heartfelt comments ever. And some serious discussion about what counts as racism.

When one person says “that’s racist” but it doesn’t seem that way to you, the best way to tell is to flip it around. Change black to white. Or vice versa.

For example…

“Maybe you think it’s unfair that this anger sometimes gets generalized to include you, when you yourself have never detained a black driver or used a choke hold to subdue someone you were arresting.”

I think it’s pretty obvious when you do the flip, the statement, even though if you parse it literally, is not demeaning to whites, an equivalent statement made about blacks, using black stereotypes, would certainly be considered offensive.

When someone says something like this in my presence I feel a twinge of pain in my stomach. I know what it’s like to be driving in an area where the cops probably aren’t friendly, or where a mugging could take place even while you’re in a car. (It actually happened to me in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was mugged at knifepoint after I got lost driving a rental car.)

I don’t split hairs about what is racism or isn’t. This is a period of amnesty, no one knows how to talk about this stuff. Yesterday candidate Obama, who I admire more every day, said his grandmother is a “typical white person.” There were attempts to use this for political advantage, but I think by the end of this campaign we’ll laugh at how awkward this period was and how common this kind of thing is. So what. Are there typical white people? Maybe, maybe not. But in the end, what’s the big deal.

The only way to make progress is to go through it. I know that black people say really racist things about white people, and no one called them on it because white people couldn’t hear. Same thing’s true the other way. The difference is now we can hear. Great. You wanted change, right? This is what change is like. It ain’t easy and not always pretty, but when you’re stuck in a rut, it’s the only way to go.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: